A Healthy Transformation at OhioHealth
OhioHealth's in-plant upgrades digital color printing and front-end software, brings marketing work in-house.May 2014
A few years ago, veteran print manager Terry Oliver faced a situation familiar to many in-plants: an organizational review to justify the expense of her in-plant compared to outsourcing. While she prided herself on her ability to meet the needs of OhioHealth's internal clients, defending her in-plant meant she would have to quantify many of the intangibles of service that her five-employee in-plant offered.
"You can't put a price on customer service," Oliver says, "but several of our customers spoke up to explain that our in-plant was the best way to get quality work done quickly."
By focusing on the value the in-plant brings, the low cost and the dedicated customer service, Oliver convinced OhioHealth that keeping the in-plant was the best solution for the organization.
"Customer service was really the strong point that actually saved us," she says.
At about the same time as the review, Adam Frix, a local print production solutions analyst for Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA, showed Oliver how a Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 with an EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) could extend the in-plant's capabilities to handle the high-quality, full-color printing that OhioHealth's marketing department was outsourcing to commercial printing firms. OhioHealth eventually selected Konica Minolta as the provider for all its office and production print equipment.
Growing Health System
OhioHealth, is one of the most respected large health systems in the country, with 12 hospitals, more than 50 health and surgery centers and more than 28,000 associates, physicians and volunteers serving patients in a 40-county region throughout central Ohio.
Oliver meets the growing healthcare organization's needs while focusing on services that make it easier, faster and more advantageous to keep print work in-house. Using monochrome and color digital production devices, finishing equipment and an HP Designjet Z3200PS wide-format inkjet printer, the in-plant produces 18 million impressions per year.
"My customers' main concern is taking care of patients, so when it comes to them ordering print, it has to be easy," maintains Oliver, "and when a customer asks if we can meet a tight deadline, I want to say, 'absolutely' as often as possible."
The in-plant's transformation started with a pair of monochrome Konica Minolta bizhub Pro 1200 series digital print production systems. While Oliver, who had used Fiery Command WorkStation software in the past, wanted Fiery technology for her new production engines, it was not available for that particular monochrome platform at the time.
"We used another product to manage our printers, and it was a big step back compared to Fiery," says Oliver.
Before too long, however, OhioHealth replaced its Xerox 5252 with a Fiery-driven Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000. This gave the in-plant a chance to stake its claim in high-end color work. Oliver says having a Fiery DFE was "was one of the non-negotiable requirements I had when it came to adding the C8000."
With the new Konica Minolta system in place, the in-plant could really compete on color work, providing marketing collateral that was as good as, or better, than the work local commercial printing firms were selling to OhioHealth.
"The quality's really great," lauds Oliver. "We can run 5,000 copies of the same job and it stays very consistent."
Plus the new technology meant the in-plant could deliver lower costs and faster turnaround times. Having the C8000 has substantially increased the shop's color volume.
"When I first started here, we were doing maybe 20,000 a month in color," Oliver says. "Now I'm averaging 200,000."
The quality of the C8000 is what convinced OhioHealth's marketing communications team to start sending its marketing collateral to the in-plant.
"They used to outsource the majority of their short-run digital work," Oliver notes. Adding the C8000, she says, "just opened the floodgates."
Once it had established its high-end color credentials, OhioHealth's in-plant progressed even further with additional, advanced EFI technologies. Oliver installed EFI Fiery Central, the linchpin that gave the in-plant essential, time-saving capabilities for streamlined management of monochrome and color jobs.
With Fiery Central, OhioHealth benefits from a common, intuitive visual user interface—the Fiery Command WorkStation—to manage the Konica Minolta production devices and additional Fiery prepress applications.
Konica Minolta's Frix and EFI's local support staff also showed Oliver how the in-plant can manage even more work in less time by integrating Fiery Central with another advanced technology, EFI Digital StoreFront Web-to-print and eCommerce software. The in-plant installed an EFI-hosted Digital StoreFront system in 2013, and it has transformed how Oliver serves her customers.
"Before Digital StoreFront, we were manually handling between 1,200 and 1,800 jobs each month, and nearly all of our document changes and approvals were coming to us by fax," says Oliver.
Although Digital StoreFront only went live at OhioHealth a few months ago, the in-plant's customers are rapidly taking notice. Oliver counts more than 540 registered users.
"I'm seeing jobs from people I never even knew existed," she comments. "Our orders are processed 50 percent faster than they were before. We are much more efficient with Digital StoreFront, and that gives us the labor and capital resources to continue expanding our operation."
OhioHealth used Fiery Command WorkStation to integrate its monochrome devices to Digital StoreFront, automating the file intake and production, and creating a significantly streamlined process where jobs require fewer touches. Digital StoreFront also gives the in-plant the ability to accurately track chargeback costs to departments, ensuring greater budget accountability across the entire organization.
The combination of complementary Konica Minolta bizhub and EFI Fiery and Digital StoreFront technologies has taken the OhioHealth in-plant full circle from the days when it had to justify its existence. Offering outstanding quality and fast turnaround—and being easy to do business with—has yielded superior results. This is essential for a rapidly expanding health organization.
And, perhaps most telling of all, OhioHealth's main marketing operation—a department that once kept the in-plant at arm's length—is now a trusted partner. Long-run, full-color jobs that favor the economics of offset production are still bid out, but now, OhioHealth's marketing department sends more of its jobs to the in-plant than it does to external print providers.